Cement Your Lifelong Friendships with Monogram Necklaces

All of us have a core group of best friends whom we remain close to for life. That’s why friendship jewelry, including monogram necklaces, can be so meaningful. Creating matching monogram necklaces can cement those lifelong bonds and remind you why you became friends in the first place.

Benefits of Friendship Monogram Necklaces

The benefits of designing and purchasing friendship monogram necklaces are similar to those of friendship bracelets, which include the following:

  • Staying close to friends over a long distance
  • Creating of a reminder of your friendship
  • Containing hidden meanings and metaphorical importance for your group
  • Giving each of you a cool and decorative piece of jewelry

Choosing the Metal and Decorations

Now that you’ve decided to make monogram friendship necklaces, you need to choose the type of metal you want to use as well as its color. Gold and silver are often utilized in friendship necklaces. These metals are strong and sturdy and are generally quite handsome with their yellow and silver colors. However, they may also be tinted different shades by the jewelry maker. If you are allergic to metal or want to try something different, acrylic and glass necklaces are also available.

After choosing the necklace material, you can decide on its decorations. Monogram necklaces can be adorned with a wide variety of materials, including these:

  • Diamonds
  • Gems
  • Decorative glass beads

Picking a Meaningful Monogram

Typically, the letters in a monogram necklace need to have some type of meaning for the person wearing it. Personal monograms usually reflect the person’s initials, but a friendship monogram necklace won’t have room for all of your initials if you have a group of several friends. That’s why it might be wise to focus on either first or last name initials.However, you may also choose letters that represent a shared experience. For example, if you all met at Lincoln High School, the initials could read “LHS” or some variation.

Giving Them Out

Try to make giving out your friendship monogram bracelets a special event, as simply handing them out without fanfare is a little boring. Fun ways to distribute your friendship monogram necklaces include these:

  • In a gift card given out the next time you meet
  • As Christmas gifts wrapped up in a large, bulky box (to generate some humor)
  • Wrapped around a nice bottle of wine
  • Hidden around the house with clues directing them towards the hiding spots
  • Tucked in mailed care packages filled with even more friendship items, such as bracelets, favorite chocolates, or framed pictures

By now, you should be chomping at the bit to create and distribute your meaningful monogram jewelry. Contact a jeweler near you and don’t be afraid to invest some real cash. After all, your friends will appreciate it for a lifetime.

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New Moms: 4 Ways to Turn Financial Stressing into a Free Blessing

Nothing is more rewarding and yet more nerve-wracking than bringing a new baby home. In truth, you need to invest more than just love and time into your new bundle of joy; you also need to invest money.

On average, it costs approximately $3,500 for each hospital stay to deliver a baby. Even more jaw dropping is the fact that it is projected to cost the average U.S. middle-income family approximately $245,000 to raise a baby born in 2013 to the age of 18. Fortunately, there are ways to decrease that financial stress by gearing up with free baby items.

Buy, Sell, Trade

Many companies and websites now promote the idea of a buy, sell, and trade market. You can find many of these markets located on social media pages as well as throughout newspapers. Enter a search query for buy, sell, trade companies and you will quickly find several thousand results before your eyes.

Buy, sell, and trade markets are great for acquiring free things for your new baby. You could perhaps trade off something you no longer need for credit or for gently used baby items. For example, perhaps you no longer want or need your game system. Playing video games might seem difficult with a new baby in the house.

You can box up the game system and trade for baby items with a similar value. Therefore, selling a game system worth $200 or $300 allows you to choose baby items within the same value range. Perhaps you can score a free stroller or a free crib that way. You may also be able to find free baby samples online.

Make Use of Friends and Family

Do you have a family member or a friend whose child is now growing older? You can talk to your friends and family members to see if they have anything you can use for your baby. They may have anything ranging from clothing to burp rags, baby bedding to unused diapers, and more.

Find Local Organizations

If you find yourself financially struggling, there are many organizations near you that are willing to assist you in acquiring the things you need for your infant. For instance, churches are often willing to help with the cost of a car seat or a safe, suitable crib for your child.

Organize a Mommy Swap Meet

A mommy swap meet has a similar concept to that of buy, sell, and trade markets. However, in this instance, you might be able to both obtain free items for your baby and make a few friends while you are at it.

Pitch ideas to the moms that allow them to all benefit from your swap meet. The moms can all discuss what types of items they need and what items they have to trade. As the organizer, it will be up to you to keep track of everything, such as in a spreadsheet.

Once you have everybody’s information down, you can begin organizing who is going to swap what for what and with whom. This is a great way for busy, financially strapped moms to make life a little bit easier once there is a new baby in the house.

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What You Should Know About Investing In Gold

Do you sometimes find yourself in a financial bind that is hard to come out of? If you want to make sure that there is a way to make money in hard times, you should consider investing in a few pieces of gold. Find out in this article why investing in gold is a smart way to get financial security, as well as where it can be sold if you need some quick cash.

Why is Investing in Gold a Smart Thing to Do?

The best thing about gold is that it is available in many different forms, which gives you the option of collecting coins, jewelry or anything else that you can find. You don’t have to worry about your gold being in top shape, as the only thing of concern is that it must be real. If you happen to resell the gold, the dealers will usually melt it down and use it for creating something else. So if you find a badly tangled gold chain, there is no need for you to untangle it before selling it to a dealer.

Investing in gold is smart because it is a precious metal that is always in demand. However, there are times when it is in a higher demand than others. It is a good idea to get into the habit of watching the stock market if you want to know when your gold is worth the most money. Knowing when gold is in high demand can also help you avoid selling it for a price that is lower than deserved.

What Kind of Dealers Can Gold Be Sold To?

Pawn shop dealers are usually willing to loan money gold items, and you can actually get the items back if you pay the loan off. You can also sell gold permanently through a pawn shop if you don’t want the items back. If you want a good deal on your gold, you may want to visit a dealer that is strictly in the business of buying and selling it. Gold dealers will sometimes send you envelopes in the mail for shipping your gold items to them, which can be convenient. When they receive and inspect the gold, you get money deposited in your bank account.

No matter where you decide to sell gold, you can count on it bringing you some income. If you have any gold already, get in touch with a dealer like Atlas Loan & Jewelry Co to find out how much money you can get!

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Heroic Advice on the Best Way to Pawn Valuable Comic Books

When short on money, selling a beloved and treasured comic book collection probably is not something you want to do. Got to a pawn shop then. At a pawn shop, selling is not the only option as you could borrow (“pawn”) against the value of the collection. Do not think, however, the pawn dealer is going to offer the highest reference book listed value. Any offered loan amount is sure to be what the pawn broker could realistically sell the collection to those interested in buying are willing to pay.

Beware of Record Sales Figures

Perhaps you purchased a number of comic books as a kid back in the 1970s and have taken reasonably good care of those now-musty pulp titles. Recently, your attention may have been grabbed by reports of the incredible sales figures these books have garnered. While the purchasing figures may be true, you have to realize a record sale means the highest dollar value sold. A record sale is not the average sale price. Furthermore, records sales could be based on difficult-to-duplicate factors such as

  • The book was in perfect mint condition.
  • The character may have experienced a brief popularity resurgence at the time of the sale.
  • The buyer had to have the particular book at a particular time and paid too much.

So, do not assume you are going to get a loan close to the record sale price. Instead, determine the the average sale price figures because this is what the shoppers are actually paying. Remember, anyone shopping in a pawn shop is likely looking for a good deal. You have to adjust your asking price on a loan or an outright sale to meet the consumer’s demands.

Research Closed Online Auctions

Run the issues you are considering pawning through the the search feature of a popular online auction site. Never focus on the asking price. Check out what the final sales figure on a closed auction were. If a book in good condition is worth $100 and the average final sale price is $65, then $65 is what the pawn shop broker is going to base the loan on.

Also, bring printouts of the closed auction with you when visiting a pawn shop like Danny’s Pawn Shop. This way, the broker immediately knows there is a current, interested customer-base for the book. That might nudge the broker into facilitating a loan quickly. After all, buyers are out there.

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Camping With Hammocks

Hammocks provide a place to relax no matter where you may be. Sleeping under the stars in a hammock makes for the ultimate in camping beds. The dip of the design coupled with the slight movement of a hammock creates comfort that is unsurpassed.

Choosing a Hammock for Camping

The hammock you purchase for camping will depend on your camping style.

If you are an avid backpacker, you probably count grams and will want the lightest possible hammock. There are hammocks that are suitable for camping and weigh less than a pound. If you plan to camp out of your vehicle, the weight of your hammock won’t be as much of an issue.

There are hammocks that are designed specifically for camping. They are constructed to withstand weather, are durable, and easy to clean. A trained salesperson can help you choose the best one for you and the area you plan to visit.

Be sure to check the length of a hammock and the amount of weight it will support. There are ultra-light hammocks that will are as long as seven feet and hold up to 350 pounds.


There are certain accessories that go along with hammocks and camping. These include:

  • Bug Netting – If you are going to be camping where there is the potential for mosquitoes, flies, spiders, or other insects, you will want to have bug netting. The netting for hammocks goes over you like a tent to keep bugs from landing on you.
  • Tarp or Tarpaulin – A hammock tarp will protect you from rain and other elements.
  • Suspension Straps – If you plan to suspend your hammock from a tree you will need suspension straps and hardware. You will find a variety of suspension systems that are available for hammocks. Popular systems for campers are those that a constructed to protect trees.
  • Hammock Stand – If you are camping out of your vehicle at a campsite, you may choose to use a stand versus suspending from trees.
  • Quilts – Most campers who sleep in hammocks don’t use a sleeping bag. Many prefer quilts. Due to the suspension of a hammock, you are exposed to airflow from above and below. Down quilts both under and above your body will help keep you comfortable in cool temperatures.

If you enjoy camping and have never tried it with a hammock, it’s worth giving it a shot! Hammocks and their accessories are lightweight and easy to pack, making them perfect for a camping trip. They fold up nicely for backpacking and take up minimal space in a vehicle.

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Three Ways To Show Your Appreciation To A Member Of The Armed Forces

Whether you have a family member who has served in the military or just want to do something to honor veterans or families of fallen soldiers, there are some great ideas that you will want to keep in mind. There are plenty of creative things that you can do in order to thank these military people for their service and letting them know that you care. With this in mind, consider these three ideas for honoring a military person. 

Help Out Those Who Were Injured

Society consistently pays homage to those who were killed in service, but a large number of soldiers come back from combat with injuries that may change their lives forever. For instance, more than 48,000 people came home from Iraq with injuries. If you want to show that you care, there are a number of organizations that you can join and support, either with your time or money, in order to assist those soldiers. Chances are good that you live near somebody who was injured in combat. Taking time out of your day to help them with things like yard work, or just to stop by and show that you care, may go a long way. 

Consider The Little Gestures

Even if you don’t go out of your way to volunteer, small gestures can go a long way. For instance, many people take the step of giving up their seat for a soldier or paying the tab for a soldier when out at a dining establishment. You can also take the time to buy some flowers and place it on the grave of a fallen soldier on Veteran’s Day, or just because. These small gestures are typically greatly appreciated by either the soldier or the family of a soldier. 

Buy A Custom Military Plaque

If you know a soldier that has returned home from deployment, or who received an award or promotion in rank, you can help them out by purchasing a plaque with their name, the reason for the presentation and their credentials. There are many companies that sell military plaques, such as The Trophy Case, and some companies make them with a host of different materials and with finely engraved letters and numbers. This can serve as an excellent keepsake for any military member that you present it to. 

Consider these three ideas and use them in order to show the military person in your life that you appreciate their effort and service. 

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Unconventional Methods For Quitting Smoking

It’s often been said that quitting smoking is one of the most dramatically positive goals you can give yourself for improving your health if you’re a smoker. There are some surprising approaches available now to make this easier.

Fast Benefits from Quitting

Despite the difficulties inherent with quitting, such as cravings and headaches, getting off of cigarettes is enormously beneficial in the end. This is due to the reduction of risks such as heart disease.

In fact, a recent study has shown that those who quit smoking have their risk of heart disease return to normal in just 15 years. This effect isn’t as dramatic if you smoke a pack a day for more than 32 years, but it does seem to be the case in all other situations. The trick is finding edges that can help you get over the barriers to quitting.

Use Social Media

Despite a lot of the hype around social media being potentially dangerous in various ways, studies have come out recently proving that using social media has surprising benefits. One of these is that those who are on social media sites such as Facebook have an easier time kicking their smoking habit.

The study looked at specific apps on Facebook that used social pressure to help users quit. After three months of using apps that had this approach, a full 32% of the smokers who tried it were able to quit. This is over twice as effective as common other approaches such as support gained through phone lines.

It’s easy to forget, but social pressure is a powerful force for changing behavior, and showing the world your attempts to quit is starting to look like a surprisingly effective method for those desperate for the health benefits.  


It’s not often that people advocate trying to quit one drug habit by picking up another, but there’s some evidence to suggest that e-cigarettes are a surprising exception. According to Addiction Journal, those who try to quit smoking without using a professional succeed 60% more of the time if they try e-cigarettes than they do when they don’t use e-cigarettes as an aid.

E-cigarettes like those from Vapoligy allow you to modulate the amount of nicotine in the vapor you breathe in, which can be a useful mechanism for weaning yourself off of the drug. This way, instead of trying to quit “cold turkey” you can slowly go down without losing the feeling of smoking, which is one of the factors that leads to craving cigarettes and failing to quit in the first place.  

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